• Essays & Musings,  People of Africa

    What Does the World Really Think of Nigerians?

    As I walked into the restaurant of my hotel in Kigali for breakfast, I noticed there was no queue in front of the eggs-to-order stand. “Muraho”, I said to the chef with the confidence of a third time visitor to Rwanda. “Nimeza”, she replied in a kind voice that welcomed me while instructing me on the proper Kinyarwanda intonation. “Please, may I have two fried eggs, only slightly runny,” I asked? As she cracked the eggs on to the skillet with gusto, she asked, “Where are you from?” I asked her to guess. With each try, from Liberia to Sierra Leone to Cameroon, I nodded in disapproval. “Ghana?”, she eventually…

  • People of Africa

    People at the Embassy: The Hilarious List of Characters You’ve Met at the Embassy!

      You know how travel junkies pack their bags, walk up to the airport, close their eyes, flip a coin and hop on a flight to a random country? Well, I’m probably never going to be able to do that because I hold a Nigerian passport and I need visas / embassy appointments to enter most countries. I do not remember my first experience at an embassy…I was very young and was likely plucked up from the floor by my parents to be shown to the interviewing officer and then sent back to a chair in the waiting hall while my parents answered questions. Since then, I have visited embassies…

  • People of Africa

    People on a Plane: You’ll Meet These People on Every Flight to or from Nigeria!

    People on a plane fascinate me. Conversations on a plane intrigue me. Time spent on a plane can be tiresome but for me, it is an opportunity to observe and write. On occasion, I am blessed with a seat neighbor whose stories shrink a 7 hour flight to what seems like a quick dash. Whether I am on a long-haul flight from Accra to New York or leading a group of students on a TVP Adventures excursion from Lagos to Nairobi, the hours on a plane never go a-wasted. Recently, I whipped out my pen and began to sketch some of my favorite encounters with Nigerian travelers across the years. I would…